Sweet Bird of Youth

Sweet Bird of Youth Irony

Scudder marrying Heavenly (Situational Irony)

A moment of situational irony occurs in the first scene when Scudder visits Chance in his hotel room and tries to dissuade him from staying in St. Cloud, after what he did to Heavenly. After Chance tells him that he intends to win back Heavenly, Scudder reveals that this is impossible, since he himself is engaged to her. This is an abrupt and ironic turn in which Chance's expectations are completely reversed.

The Tape Recorder (Dramatic Irony)

A moment of dramatic irony occurs when Chance puts a tape recorder beside the bed and records Princess without her knowing. While the audience sees him trap her in this way, she has no idea she is being recorded.

The Resurrection of Princess's Career (Situational Irony)

Princess, throughout the play, is a character who is decidedly "over the hill," and has abandoned the Hollywood dream in order to mature in obscurity. She talks at length about the trauma of aging in film, seeing herself on screen and feeling horrified about the ways she has aged. At the end of the film, however, she learns, ironically enough, that her last film brought her acclaim and she can have a career again after all.

The Heckler (Dramatic Irony)

The audience gets introduced to the Heckler, a man hellbent on ruining Boss Finley's career, in the cocktail lounge at the Royal Palms Hotel. He waits for Boss's rally to start, and strategizes how he will ruin Boss's speech. Thus, the audience is privy to his movements before Boss Finley is, creating an instance of dramatic irony in which the audience knows that the rally will be disrupted before the characters do.